Jacques Pepin, Russian life, Asian Cuisine

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The Santa Monica Farmers Market Memorial will be held Saturday, July 19. A procession will begin at 12-noon at 4th Street and Wilshire. It will proceed to Arizona and the 3rd Street Promenade where there will be a memorial at 12:15pm. The ceremony is open to all. Both Saturday Farmers Markets will be open for business as well as the Wednesday Farmers Market this coming week.

A relief fund has been set up to assist the victims. To donate online, go to the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce. To send a check, make payable to: Santa Monica Farmers Market Victims Assistance Fund, and mail to:
PO BOX 51943
Los Angeles CA 90051-6243
or call 310-393-9825 ext. 10.

The Sunday Hollywood Farmers Market will have a bloodmobile on site. The market runs from 8:30am to 1pm at the corner of Ivar and Selma Ave. (near Caheunga Blvd and Sunset Blvd.) The Red Cross is in need of Type O blood.

Jacques Pepin is the author of The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen, published by Houghton Mifflin.

Gary Arabia is an event producer/caterer. He can be found at www.GlobalCuisineCatering.com.

Catherine Cheremeteff Jones is the author of widely acclaimed, A Year of Russian Feasts, published by Jellyroll Press. You can find this book online or at The Cook's Library on 3rd Street.

Corinne Trang is the author of Essentials of Asian Cuisine, published by Simon & Schuster. Her website is CorinneTrang.com.

Sour Hot Soup
Serves 4 to 6

  • 8 small dried or fresh cloud ear mushrooms
  • 16 dried tiger lilies
  • 8 cups vegetable stock (recipe to follow)
  • 2 Tablespoons Chinese black vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoons Shaoxing wine
  • 1 Tablespoon Chinese light soy sauce
  • 2 tsp Chinese dark soy sauce
  • 1 to 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp chili oil
  • 3 dried whole red chiles
  • 1 small bamboo shoot, quartered lengthwise and juilienned
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled, thinly sliced, and julienned
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground white or black pepper
  • 8 ounces firm tofu, sliced and cut into 1/4 inch thick sticks
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons tapioca starch or cornstarch
  • 2 scallions, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalks thinly sliced into rounds
1. Put the cloud ears (if dried) and lilies in separate bowls with hot water to cover, and set a plate over each bowl to prevent steam from escaping. Let stand until they re-hydrate and soften, about 30 minutes (or longer depending on their size.) Squeeze the cloud ears and lilies between the palms of your hands to get rid of the excess water. Using a paring knife, quarter the cloud ears and remove any hard stems. Cut off the very hard tip of each stem, and tie them in knots.

2. Bring the stock to a boil in a pot over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and add the vinegar, wine, light and dark soy sauces, sugar, sesame oil, chile oil, chiles, bamboo shoot, ginger, cloud ears and lily stems. Season with salt and pepper and simmer through, about 15 minutes. Add the tofu. Dilute the tapioca starch with 1 to 2 tablespoons water and stir it into the soup until thickened slightly, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup in individual bowls and garnish with scallions.

Superior Stock
Makes 3 to 3 1/2 cups

  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds meaty chicken bones, such as the carcass, neck and wings
  • 6 ounces Smithfield ham, thinly sliced
  • 1 pound lean pork ribs
  • 2 to 3 ounces fresh ginger, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 5 scallions, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalks halved crosswise and lightly crushed
  • 1 large yellow onion, peeled
  • 8 ounces daikon, peeled and cut into 1-inch thick slices
  • 1 tsp white or black peppercorns
  • Kosher salt
1. Place the chicken bones, ham and pork ribs in a stockpot and cover with 5 quarts water. Add the ginger, scallions, onion, daikon, and peppercorns, and bring to a boil over high heat. Skim off the foam, reduce the heat to medium-low and season sparingly with salt. (Remember that the ham is salty.) Simmer, uncovered, occasionally skimming off any foam, until the stock is reduced by about 2 quarts, about 3 hours. At this time skim off as much fat as you desire.

2. Strain the stock, discard the solids, and use according to the recipe of your choice. The stock can be kept up to 3 days in the refrigerator or 3 months in the freezer.

Chicken and Young Coconut Soup
Makes 4 to 6 servings

  • 1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
  • 1 small yellow onion, cut into thin wedges
  • 1 ounce fresh ginger, peeled and julienned
  • 2 fresh whole red Thai chiles or 4 dried whole red chiles
  • 6 cups stock
  • 2 tablespoons fish sauce
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 young green coconut, water reserved and meat julienned, or the equivalent frozen or canned but unsweetened
  • 1 cup julienned fresh green papaya; or 1 green mango, peeled, pit removed, and julienned
  • 24 Malunggay leaves (if dried, rehydrate in water first; if frozen, thaw)
  • 8 ounces skinless chicken breasts, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 2 small vine-ripe tomatoes, each cut into 8 wedges and seeded
  • 1 scallion, root and dark green ends trimmed, and 6-inch stalk cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces and julienned
1. Heat oil in stockpot over medium heat. Stir-fry garlic, onion, ginger and whole chiles until the garlic and onion turn golden and the mixture becomes fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the chicken stock and fish sauce, season to taste with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the coconut water, coconut meat and green papaya or green mango, and cook until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add the Malunggay leaves, chicken, and tomatoes. Stir well and simmer until the chicken turns opaque and cooks through, 1 to 2 minutes. Ladle the soup into individual large soup bowls and garnish with scallions.